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Complaint against the MoD Civil Servants
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Post Complaint against the MoD Civil Servants 
Complaint sent to the ICO via email.

Dear Sirs;

Over the past 12 to 18 months I have emailed the MoD with a couple of questions and have never received a reply now I have managed to find the answer to my questions by other means so I have ignored their lack of response but my latest question needs a response from the MoD.
In December 2008 I sent Richard Coney an email and again in January 2009 no answer.
Using the MoD web page I asked a Freedom of Information question, no answer.
On the 9th March 2009 I sent the following email to Ian Keith
I have sent two emails to Richard Coney politely asking two very simple questions but have received no answer so I asked my questions via the MoD web page using the Freedom of Information Act section once again no answer not even a reference number.
So now I’m asking you with copies to some MoD Ministers because as you know there is some evidence of papers relating to the PJM issue going astray.
The questions are:
Are civilians working on Military establishments classed as Crown Servants?
Are employers of the NAAFI classed as Crown Servants?
As you can see two very simple questions that only require a yes or no answer.
I thank you for your time and look forward to your reply.
Kind regards

Once again NO ANSWER

So as a last resort using the MoD web page I sent this question along with a complaint to the Minister NO ANSWER.

It would appear that MoD Civil Servants are refusing to communicate with me, I must add there was not much of a problem before the 23rd April 2008 as that is the date that I had a Meeting with Derek Twigg the then Veterans Minister.
Perhaps the MoD Civil Servants do not like British Veterans talking direct to their Ministers?

Could the ICO please instruct the MoD to answer my simple questions they may use my email address to save on costs as I do realize that cost seems to be an issue with the MoD.

I thank you for your time and look forward to your reply.
Kind regards

Now I know the MoD love to read our web site so you have a chance to answer my questions before the ICO intervene.

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I have now sent two emails to the ICO complaining about the MoD; NO ANSWER not even an acknowledgement so I have just posted a copy via snail mail.

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Fantastic persistence, Paul, and thank you. Hounding 'em out is the only way.


Mike Barton
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Post MoD/ICO 
I tried many times to get the MoD to answer two simple questions and they would just not answer me so I complained to the ICO and the ICO upheld my complaint. (See Below)
Now you might ask why ask these two simple questions, well there are some civilians who are entitled to the PJM and Denis Brennan of the Cabinet Office states that the LG Notice does not apply to us because we were Crown Servants when the medal was earned now going by Mr Brennan’s version of the LG Notice we now have a case of discrimination because some Brits can wear the PJM and some cannot.

Letter to me from the ICO
8th May 2009

Case Reference Number FS50241378

Dear Mr Alders

Your information request to Ministry of Defence.

Thank you for your correspondence dated 30/3/09 in which you complain about MoD’s failure to respond to your information request within 20 working days. I have contacted their representative and confirm that you should have by now received their formal response in the shape of their letter dated 07/05/09 (I have a copy if you have not yet received your copy).

I have considered the explanation for this provided by the public authority. Although a clear breach of the Act did occur, I am satisfied that the authority has recognised this and I have no reason to think that other, similar delays will recur in the future. In this particular case, therefore, the Commissioner does not consider that serving a formal decision notice would serve any strong public interest since assurances for the future have been given by the public authority. I have, however, written to the public authority reminding it of its responsibilities. I enclose a copy of my letter for your information.

As you will see even though the Commissioner does not intend to issue a formal notice in this case, your concerns have been taken seriously. Thank you for bringing this matter to the attention of the Information Commissioner.

This case has now been closed with the delayed response element showing as ‘withdrawn’ on our records. I have reproduced below a fact sheet explaining our complaint handling procedures. Please contact our Helpline on 08456 306060, or 01625 545745 if you would prefer to call a 'national rate' number if you require any further assistance.

Yours sincerely

Jim Dunn
FoI Case Officer
FoI Case Reception Unit
The Information Commissioner’s Office

Letter from the ICO to the MoD
8th May 2009

Case Reference Number FS50241378

Dear Ms de Bourcier

Information Request from Mr P Alders (the requester).

I refer to my email dated 06/05/09 regarding this case and thank you for issuing a speedy response to the requester.

The Information Commissioner has received a complaint from Mr P Alders stating that having made an information request in December 2008 no response had been received until your recent intervention. We enclose a copy of this request for your information.

As you will be aware, a public authority in receipt of such a request has a duty to deal with them promptly and, in any event, within 20 working days. Although there are some exceptions, particularly where additional time is required to consider the public interest in disclosing exempt information; none of these exceptions appear to apply in this case.

The Commissioner recognises that in this particular instance you have acknowledged the breach and have given assurances that similar delays will not recur in the future. He does not consider, therefore, that there is any strong public interest in issuing a decision notice. He does, however, draw your attention to his published guidance on this matter (

Finally you should be aware that the Information Commissioner often receives requests for copies of the letters we send and receive when dealing with casework. Not only are we obliged to deal with these in accordance with the access provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the DPA) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the FOIA), it is in the public interest that we are open, transparent and accountable for the work that we do.

However, whilst we want to disclose as much information as we reasonably can, there will be occasions where full disclosure would be wrong. It is also important that the disclosures we make do not undermine the confidence and trust in the Commissioner of those who correspond with him.

If/When you reply to this letter, I would be grateful if you would indicate whether any of the information you provide in connection with this matter is confidential, or for any other reason should not be disclosed to anyone who requests it. I should make clear that simply preferring that the information is withheld may not be enough to prevent disclosure. You should have a good reason why this information should not be disclosed to anyone else and explain this to us clearly and fully.

You will appreciate that in the event of other, similar complaints, the Commissioner may consider taking enforcement action under s.52 of the Act.

I have copied this letter to the requester.

Yours sincerely

Jim Dunn
FoI Case Officer
FoI Case Reception Unit
The Information Commissioner’s Office

Letter from the MoD to me

Shiraz Islam
DCP Business Management
Level 6, Zone K, Main Building, Whitehall SW1A 2HB
Telephone (Direct dialling): 0207 807 8613

7 May 2009

Mr Paul Alders

Our ref: 04-02-2009-105837-001

Dear Mr Alders,

Request for Information

1. Are all civilians working on military establishment classed as Crown servants?

2. Also are NAAFI personnel classed as Crown Servants?
(Are employers of the NAAFI classed as Crown Servants?)


Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your original request submitted on 3 February 2009. This has been considered to be a request for information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI 2000).

After consulting with our Human Resources and Legal Services teams, I hereby offer the following response.

1. There are a large number of contractors such as building contractors and temporary staff working on military sites. Due to this, all civilians working on military establishments cannot be classed as Crown servants. Furthermore, to our knowledge, a legal document has not been published outlining who is and is not a Crown servant.

2. I cannot comment regarding the classification for NAAFI personnel as they are a separate organisation. However, I can provide the following contact details if you wish to get in touch:

Central Support Office
Suite 6, The Beehive, Lingfield Point
McMullen Road, Darlington
County Durham, DL1 1YN
01325 343880

If you are not satisfied with this response or you wish to complain about any aspect of the handling of your request, then you should contact me in the first instance. If informal resolution is not possible and you are still dissatisfied then you may apply for an independent internal review by contacting the Head of Corporate Information, 6th Floor, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, SW1A 2HB (e-mail Please note that any request for an internal review must be made within 40 working days of the date on which the attempt to reach informal resolution has come to an end.

If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you may take your complaint to the Information Commissioner under the provisions of Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act. Please note that the Information Commissioner will not investigate your case until the MOD internal review process has been completed. Further details of the role and powers of the Information Commissioner can be found on the Commissioner's website,
Once again, please accept my apologies for the late reply.

Yours sincerely,

Shiraz Islam

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